Consolidate the cultural landscape

in the Nature and Geopark Styrian Eisenwurzen

Initial situation

The Styrian Eisenwurzen Nature and Geopark is characterized by a multitude of unique cultural landscapes. Outstanding among its cultural landscapes is the meadow orchard, which is present in diverse forms in the region. In the course of various projects, the Nature and Geopark tries to preserve the diversity of the meadow orchards with their wealth of varieties (over 200 known apple and pear varieties). A larger LEADER project was completed in this regard at the end of 2018 and has brought numerous positive effects for various areas such as biodiversity conservation, anchoring the topic in the population, knowledge transfer, etc. with maintenance measures, variety determinations (including the discovery of new varieties) and other activities.

Objectives and target groups:

The project has three main goals:

  • Goal 1: focus on orchards – raising awareness (target groups: locals & visitors)
  • Goal 2: focus on conservation – preserving the cultural landscape and biodiversity in the nature park communities (target group population and tourism in general)
  • Goal 3: focus on product analysis – orchards of the Styrian Eisenwurzen

Project Summary

This project builds on existing foundations and previous projects and pursues the following outputs within the planned goals:

  • A care plan and a marketing concept are being developed and will set the direction of the region for the next few years.
  • An educational folder, a management concept and the signage/description of varieties of the fruit trees as well as the purchase of a fruit caterpillar for demonstration purposes in the orchard expand the environmental educational topics around orchards.
  • Based on the care plan and the marketing concept, a strategy paper “orchard juice” will be developed. Here, a regional orchard juice is newly developed and serves to increase the sale of regional products and regional value creation.
  • Parallel to this, conservation measures and care of orchards with the parallel establishment of orchard ambassadors serve to preserve the cultural landscape. Care days and education days for the local population are also implemented.
  • Another work package promotes the product analysis of recently rediscovered orchard varieties from the Steirische Eisenwurzen. Their suitability is essential for future uses in regional products in order to preserve the cultural landscape in the long term, to maintain and increase added value and to create a unique selling point within the diverse orchard regions.

With the support of Land Steiermark and the European Union (LEADER).

 Foeg Leiste Bundelerlandleadereu Stmk A Rgb

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